These pieces are usually more substantial and will become that way starting next week. Rejoice! (And send cash.)
The media and coaches polls are out and I'm starting to think that people whacked their heads against the wall and are making decisions while in a bloodied mess requiring an ambulance trip rather than a few minutes at the kitchen table filling out a poll tally. The reason I don't include the "math"/scientist-type rankings in poll aggregations during the early part of the season is that there are substantial swings due to output performance; the "human"/future robot slave-type rankings, at least in theory, are intended to be a little more static.
That really hasn't been the case this season (with some exceptions).
The full polls can be seen on the left-hand column of this Internet computing page. Virginia holds down the top-spot in both polls for the fifth consecutive week. Johns Hopkins is a solid second in both runs and then the flip-flopping begins. Immediately below is the aggregation of the top ten in both the coaches and media rankings followed by some of my totally important thoughts that you should print out and put on your refrigerator:
- The early theme for the polls this season has been that it's better to play a game and win rather than not play a game at all: The former moves you up the polls; the latter drops you like a leper. It happened to Cornell earlier this year, when the Big Red started its season a little later than the rest of the country while North Carolina played a bunch of crippled kittens in wheelchairs and won. I guess that kind of makes sense from an eyeball resume standpoint. Luckily we're past that now and are only dealing with the biggest thing that makes me hate polls: Significant movement generally only happens when teams lose; in other words, teams are punished for dropping games but aren't similarly punished for poor play or, inversely, rewarded for great play. Syracuse didn't play like the fifth- or sixth-best team in the country on Saturday and yet stayed relatively static in its poll placement. If you're going to give Syracuse credit for running with Virginia at Klockner Stadium, you need to also address the Orange for struggling with a pretty mediocre St. John's team.
- Loyola was your biggest upwardly-mobile team of the week; glass ceilings mean nothing in Baltimore. The Greyhounds moved up around five spots in the aggregation. Loyola will continue to rise until they lose, which may not be until a mid-April date with now cruisin' Denver. Moving down the social ladder was Maryland, because they apparently wore a blue tie with a black suit and, gosh, that's mighty icky and should be punished.
- The league with the most teams in the aggregated top-ten? The Big East. (Just! Like! Basket-ball! <clap>, <clap>, <clapclapclap>.) After Syracuse's escape from Alcatraz against St. John's this weekend, the top of the league is up for grabs in what should be a wild looting spree of lacrosse. The ECAC and ACC followed with two clubs each.
- Denver was also a notable upwardly-mobile squad, likely seeing strong gains in the rankings market after its destruction of the Penn State Fightin' Tambroni Lions. The Pioneers never should have dropped the way they did after an early-season loss to Ohio State, but it appears as if everyone is starting to come out of their absinthe haze and ranking Denver closer to reality.
What do you guys think about this? Okay or no-kay? The comments, they are yours.